62. I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home!
The black object, the subject of our investigation, was coming this way.
Shouldn’t it go towards the people studying it, like the Chief Magician, the Chief Magician, or maybe even the Chief Magician!? Shouldn’t it go to him!?
“We need to get out of here!”
I turned to see the young Margrave. His face was white while his eyes were wide.
I tugged at his hand as hard as I could, but he didn’t move. Not even to shudder.
But… He was thinner than me… Why can’t I…?
It must be that big, heavy hammer he has.
…So, that’s the problem! I knew it was heavy!
I can’t just leave him behind, but at the moment, that black thing was coming right for us.
Then, in the next moment, a brown wall rose.
I saw my Dragon raising its neck, with the light building inside its mouth. With a roar, my whole vision was bathed in white light.
I felt smoldering heat graze my skin, hurting slightly.
Th… Tha… Thank you! I don’t feel the need to go home anymore!
The black tendrils were scattered by the Dragon Breath, reforming into a disoriented sphere.
‘Did that stop it?’ I thought, relieved for a moment, but then the tendrils swayed before turning towards us again.
It… It’s coming again!? What was this… This wretched black thing! It was being really clingy!
“We gotta go! Come on, stand up…!”
I tried to rush the Margrave, but he stood trembling and unmoving.
…I want to be understanding, but I’m scared, too… Mooove!
The swaying black tendrils rushed towards us from all directions as if its life’s purpose was to enclose us.
They were too spread out for Dragon Breath to handle.
Without thinking, I took a step in front of the Margrave.
It’s not like I was trying to protect him… It was just a reaction.
I did it unconsciously.
…But what do we do now!? I can’t think of anything!
The Dragon let out an unusually sharp barking sound, spread its wings, and took off as if to draw the black object’s attention.
The black tendrils slowed down, reacting to it.
I never thought he’d be so dependable!?
Did some other Dragon replace mine!? Was it really him?
The Dragon floated in the air tugging on a chain… A chain!?
As the Dragon drew further away, the chain magically connected to my wrist made a rattling noise as it began to lift.
Wait… Dragon… You’ll tear my hand off!
Using the fixed magic circle as a stepping stone, I jumped up on the Dragon.
Ah… For now, at the very least… My wrist was safe.
As soon as I was safely on the Dragon, he began to rise to a much higher altitude.
A few of the black tendrils followed after us.
Well then, there may be a minimal possibility that they’re after me.
…They’re still coming after me!?
Well, at least I saved the Margrave… But now I’m in a pinch.
That’s not good.
Because of this magic bracelet, I’ve been dragged along for the ride. I really am in the wrong spot.
Who’s idea was it to entrap this to me?
Hmmm. Well, at least… it was a removable bracelet.
The Dragon flapped its wings to get farther away from the black things.
Man… I really messed up! I should have just taken this bracelet off earlier!
For a while, this made me think about life’s impermanence and what had brought me to his point.
In the meantime, my Dragon rose higher and higher. Wow. The Dragon was so far above.
…No, don’t think too hard about the situation.
I just need to stay focused and try to get out of this.
Because I chose to get on this Dragon… I have no choice but to go along with all of this!
I shook off my thoughts and looked down to see the black sphere emerging from the surface of the water coming after us.
…What am I supposed to do now?
“La… Lady Rururia!?”
Ah. I can hear the Margrave’s voice far away.
A humming sound rang in my ears.
Uhm… Dragon? Those black things are getting pretty close, don’t you think?
The Dragon flew through the air, cutting through it like paper as he avoided the black things coming from all sides.
I suddenly felt so light-headed!? I thought I was about to fall off its back!
I desperately gripped the base of the Dragon’s wings, but depending on its position, I could still fall off.
This was unpleasant. I couldn’t deploy a fixed magic circle while falling.
Oh, and I also can’t swim. If I fall, then I’ll drown.
I can’t go out like that.
I glanced at the chain on my wrist… I guess this was the only thing keeping me on.
I took a breath and prepared myself.
As the Dragon turned, I pressed my body against his, and for a moment, the magic chain faded.
I wrapped it tightly around the both of us.
It only took 2 seconds. Maybe.
…I did it! Success!
I don’t have to worry about falling anymore unless I split in half… Ah, don’t imagine that.
Let’s just fly back to the Royal Capital, Dragon!
The black tendrils jabbed at us like swords.
The Dragon shifted his body slightly to pass through them.
I felt a shiver down my spine. Was it fear or delight… Delight?
While I was thinking about it, the Dragon continued weaving amongst all the black objects.
At that point, we were entirely perpendicular to the ground, with the blue sky on my right and the blue sea reflecting it on my left.
…This is so scary, but also kind of fun! Huh?
I felt a significant discomfort that the word ‘fun‘ had popped up in my head.
No, no. I’m not having fun at all…
My Dragon roared happily, sounding like he was enjoying himself… Was he enjoying himself?
My left hand was shining, as was the Dragon’s forehead.
…Does this mean I’m feeling what the Dragon was feeling through this Dragon Crest?
As the Dragon called out with a seemingly happy voice, I felt that same happiness flow into me.
You damned Dragon!
“My lady… Can you hear me?”
“…Huh? Chief Magician?”
I heard the Chief Magician’s voice coming from my own neck.
Wait a minute. This was baffling… What? How? The Chief Magician’s voice?
“It seems like you heard me. I made the right choice putting a call function in that stone I gave you.”
“You added what!?”
I bit my tongue! Don’t suddenly spin like that dragooon!
“Well, it’s still in development, so it only works at short distances, as of now.”
Heeey! Don’t act like this was a totally normal conversation… Uwaaah! So, we’ll get a better signal if the Dragon dove down!?
“Well, we put it in. Things seem to be going interestingly for you, my lady.”
No. It’s not attractive at all. Take my place, Chief Magician.
As my thoughts were filled with silent protest, the black tendrils were coming from all directions… Fell?
Looking down, I saw my magic circles were walling them off. The young Margrave was pounding away with his hammer as well!
“Rururia-chan! Hang in there a little longer!”
“Rururia! Hold on until we can analyze it! We’ll save you then!”
They really were worried about me!
But hurry… Hurry!
“Even so, I can’t guess when. But we’ll be there.”
“Chief! Don’t say that at a time like this!”
“Don’t be a jerk, Chief! Read the room!”
“It’s chivalrous to care about women!”
I heard the Margrave’s voice as well.
…Even though I was still in danger, I couldn’t help but smile. These were my own feelings, not the ones being carried over from the Dragon.
I can trust everyone to get me out of this.
I’ll have to do all I can as well, right? And my Dragon, too.
I stroked its scales and felt its pleasure.
Despite the situation, the Dragon was as carefree as ever.
…So, what do we do now?
I asked him, feeling myself message its back as if saying more or less, “I don’t know.”
…Was that right?
The Dragon blasted some loose black tendrils with his breath.
Wow! So hot! And scary!
The black tendrils scattered like dust when it was hit. But then it gathered again and reformed.
They’re invincible. This was impossible, as I thought… What will the Chief Magician do?
“Perhaps those black things absorb mass and magic, and these cracks in the air are where they aren’t at full strength.”
Really? Well, they seem pretty tough right now! Look what I’m dealing with!
“Can you try hitting the biggest chunk of the black object with Dragon Creath?”
Hmmm, I see. Instead of avoiding the tendrils forever and ever, we target the center.
Stab right into the throbbing core…
“Take care of that, and we’ll handle the rest.”
Hearing that and knowing everyone was counting on me… I had no choice but to do it.
Dragon, can you do it?
Instead of a response, I felt feelings of confidence and determination flow into me.
…I’ll take it. Alright then, let’s do it.
You understand my feelings too, right?
I’ll give my sight, my hearing, my everything to you, then.
In reaction to my feelings, I felt the Dragon looking through me.
I will keep my eyes on the black mass, so fly however you need to.
“Here we go.”
Though his response was brief, the Chief Magician seemed to understand.
I took a deep breath to build up my determination.
I didn’t say or convey anything, but I felt the Dragon head towards the black mass as I exhaled.
Countless magic circles surrounded the Dragon.
It seemed as though they couldn’t spread out like Dragon Breath, but they can move and change direction.
They won’t disappear.
The young Margrave continued to beat at the black hammer to shrink it down.
It wasn’t enough on its own, but still…
Many of the black tendrils were disappearing, and the Dragon sped up dramatically.
I’m happy that we can fly more easily now… Thanks, everyone.
It’s fun to fly together, and we understand each other.
I’m drowning in feelings of joy and exhilaration.
But I mustn’t lose sight of our goal.
Alright, let’s head for it.
After a brief pause, we descended through the air.
I tried to suppress the feeling of my stomach rising inside of me as I stared down at the black sphere.
As if to welcome us, several black tendrils rose toward us.
The large black being made my throat clench, but I tried to laugh it off.
It won’t stop us now, will it?
After weaving between the magic circles and black tendrils, at last, the black mass expanded out in front of us.
Let’s do it, Dragon.
With a high-pitched sound, pale light penetrated through the blackness.
The vibration shook the air like a silent scream.
We passed through, grazing against the surface of the sea. Two large magic circles deployed in the place where the black object had been.
They funneled the blast of light into the sky.
A moment later, the shockwave hit.
The powerful blast buffeted my Dragon.
I got hit!
Owww! It hurts!
My stomach! The chains were tearing into my belly!
The Dragon leveled out back into horizontal flight, perhaps sensing my feelings.
I was nearly split in two… That was dangerous.
I saw the now calm spot where the black object once was.
There were no traces of it left… Just a broad, beautiful sky.
Finally… It’s over, right?
We did it! I’m alive!
“It’s a total victor, Dragon!”
‘What am I saying?’ I felt feelings of confusion transmit from him.
It just popped into my head…!